Kate Bergstrom, Director of Three Days of Rain

Kate Bergstrom, Director of Three Days of Rain

What’s your “deal?”
Ooooh! My deal! Well, I grew up in Santa Barbara, CA. My nuclear family, including the fluffy pup, Amelia, still reside there; as does with my small non-profit theatre company, On The Verge. I’m a better volleyball player than salsa dancer, much to my chagrin (though I love to play volleyball.)  It has been a treat to experience the oceans on both coasts this year and I intend to do a little lake swimming upon my stay in Monmouth!

What else? Recently I’ve been working on large scale multimedia projects and enjoying my second to last year of graduate school at Brown University/Trinity Rep’s MFA directing program. I lived in Los Angeles for eight years and worked as an actor, harpist, and director there. As an actor, my big debut onstage was playing Captain Hook in Goleta Valley Junior High School’s production of Peter Pan. I had auditioned for the role of Wendy. I think that may say more about my personality than I care to admit…

Really, I think my greatest joys and successes have always come sideways through faithful pursuit of something else. Directing was like that. I am at my happiest when I’m directing and grateful to be in a profession that fuels my heart daily. I’m also grateful to have met so many talented, wonderful artists along my path and look forward to continuing to meet many more.

Tell us a little bit about your path to directing. 
In California, I began working in the theatre as an actor and took up directing while studying at UCLA. I had always loved the craft of acting, and still do. My impetus to direct came from seeing these astounding shows helmed by Romeo Castellucci, Mabou Mines, Pam McKinnon, and others. I thought, “What they do is impossible. I’m going to do that.”  And I discovered I loved it! I loved facilitating creative intersection, great storytelling. When I took a hiatus from Los Angeles due to an illness in the

Marisol Miller-Wave and Kaitlin Tustin in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress by Alan Ball, Plaza Playhouse

Marisol Miller-Wave and Kaitlin Tustin in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress by Alan Ball, Plaza Playhouse

family, I began teaching in my hometown of Santa Barbara. The work with students reinvigorated my joy and love for further leadership in the arts and I found a real passion for artistic direction as well. I started a small nonprofit dedicated to diverse new work, predominately by female and LGBTQ artists. As I resumed my artistic work on the West Coast, I found I wanted to further my study of the craft and came to graduate school in Rhode Island.

What fuels you creatively or what is your super power?
Fuel: I love surprises. I love the shock that is laughter to tears or tears to laughter. The promise of that rare moment is the never-ending quest.

Super Power: Passion. This takes the form of dedication, revelry and fits of awe while on hot pursuit of dramatic action.

What made you say “Yes” to directing Three Days of Rain and what part of it gets you excited? 

Kate on the set of Footprints at Laetoli by Darlene Craviotto with Assistant Director Margaret Lazarovits

Kate on the set of Footprints at Laetoli by Darlene Craviotto with Assistant Director Margaret Lazarovits

Meeting Dawn felt like meeting a kindred spirit, and so I knew I wanted to work with her. When I read Three Days, the surprises and the characters’ imperfections excited me. Then the more I was steeped in it, the more the love and the chasm of the unknown between generations got to me as well. Here were a group of people steeped in privilege but trapped in their love for one another, their quests for greatness, their ennui, their failures, their successes. The whole thing felt very Chekhovian. I think it was on my third read that my not-so-secret internal romantic snuck in and fell for the play during an actual three days of rain. To capture the bliss and dismay of unexpected connection is near impossible—and that is what gets me excited about directing this bad boy!

Who is your favorite playwright and why?
This is maybe the toughest—or perhaps it is an impossible question. I have many playwrights whose work I find nothing short of magical. Susan Lori-Parks and Maria Irene Fornes may be tied for my absolute favorites. It is worth mentioning I had about five hundred more predominantly female playwrights listed here in my response which I just cut for fear of leaving a genius out. Great playwrights are some of the most incredible creatures to walk this earth.

Josiah Davis and Meredith McMinn in Footprints at Laetoli

Josiah Davis and Meredith McMinn in Footprints at Laetoli

What did you care most about when you were 10 years old? 
Marine Biology.
No-Space Jam.
Wait…Basketball.
Hmmm… tough call?

Describe yourself in three alliterative words. 
Curious, Compassionate, Crafty. (I’m not really crafty in the traditional sense…I couldn’t knit my way out of a paper bag… but I’d like to think I’m crafty in the theatrical sense and “creative” just didn’t have the impish ring I was going for…)

 

 

 

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